No Starch Press sent me three neat-looking books. They are part of the Lego Technic Idea Book series. The first is called Simple Machines, the second is called Wheeled Wonders, and the third is called Fantastic Contraptions. All three were written by Yoshihito Isogawa.
The three books are wordless. The clear, colorful photos are arranged in a step-by-step fashion to show you how to make (as the titles suggest) fun little mechanisms using Lego parts.
When I got these books, I went to Amazon to buy an assortment of Technic parts (gears, axles, chain links, worm gears, racks and pinions, drive bands, etc). But as far as I can tell the only way to get Lego Technic parts is by buying a model kit for a vehicle or robot of some kind. It doesn't seem like you can buy a box of assorted components for the purpose of building anything you feel like building. I looked around a little more online and found some sites that sell individual Technic components, but the process of ordering the parts is complicated and kind of expensive.
Does anyone know a good way to buy Lego Technic components without having to purchase a model kit? It really seems like Lego is missing an opportunity here.
In any case, if you already have a bunch of loose Lego Technic components, these books look fantastic.
Lego Technic Idea Book series: Simple Machines | Wheeled Wonders | Fantastic Contraptions